Don’t let GroupOn crush you
Have you been experimenting with the daily deal web sites, like GroupOn or Living Social? Has one of the over 3,000 sales reps at GroupOn called you but you are still unsure whether you should try it? I have been studying daily deals to help my clients make decisions about planning promotions. I ran across this article in the New York Times this week and wanted to share with all my readers.
The article discussed some of the challenges that many service professionals, such as hair salons, face when using GroupOn deals without preparation. Schedulicity, a popular online scheduling tool, has recently introduced some new features that will make it easier to manage your appointment calendar while running a deal.
I had to pass on this article and share a few quick thoughts that will help you plan for adding these deals to your strategy…
1) Set realistic goals. For many businesses, the goal of running a deal is for marketing exposure. The economics of many of the deal sites leave limited profit for the owners after all the commissions have been subtracted. Focus more on the benefits of leveraging exclusive, well-written emails that are pushed to a large number of readers in your target area. When you set your budget, think about it in terms of total advertising cost not just the number of new clients.
2) Don’t ignore your loyal clients. Many salons go hunting for new clients and ignore their current clients. How do you think your loyal clients feel when they see a deep discount for the services that you convinced them was “worth every penny?” Unappreciated is one term that comes to mind. Make sure that you run on-going client appreciation campaigns. One salon that does a fabulous job of this is Arrojo.
3) Plan for the 2nd visit early. I talk to many salon owners that say a repeat visit is easy. Don’t be over-confident and fail to plan for a group that decided to visit you on price first, and your skills/service second. You have to have a system in place to convert deal lovers into loyal clients who willingly pay your regular prices. For instance, you may want to have a plan to follow up by phone or email immediately after they use their deal.